A couple years ago I switched wallet styles from a large leather checkbook-style wallet to a little coin purse-like zipper bag that just fits my credit cards and some cash. I stopped carrying a checkbook ages ago. Since the switch I’ve never looked back. I love the ease and convenience of a compact wallet, which I can toss into a purse or just tuck into my pocket.

Recently my wallet’s zipper gave up the ghost, so I’ve been prowling for a new one. There are so many options out there …

One of the cutest was this adorable Vera Bradley at Barnes & Noble.

I’m attracted to the bright colorful designs.

There were plenty of cute compact styles, but in the end I preferred the simplest little coin purses.


I hemmed and hawed over them for awhile. I liked ’em, but I didn’t love ’em. They were a little too stiff, had some design features that I liked and some not so much.

And finally I absolutely was NOT going to pay $32 for a little coin purse. It just felt ridiculous. There are some things that are worth it. This wasn’t it.

So, I went home and sifted through my fabric scraps. I bought three 7-inch zippers for $1.79 each and a packet of pearl snaps for $1.99.

I sewed up three little zipper bags in various sizes ranging from “credit cards only” to “credit cards + phone + keys”.


I customized the interiors with a separate pocket for my driver’s license and main credit cards because I can never seem to find them easily when I’m standing in line at the checkout counter.


The outside pocket is the perfect place to tuck shopping receipts or business cards. The metallic in the fabric and the pearl snap detail add just enough panache for my girly-girl tastes.

For $8—and less than an hour’s investment—I got three custom zipper bags that can carry all sorts of things: money, makeup, my ipod + earphones … whatever.

Cool beans.

Thanks to Noodlehead for the zippy-wallet tutorial. I used her tutorial as a guideline and customized the sizes, pockets and interior details to suit my needs.

I’m so glad that I decided to try and use what I had. Sometimes that scrap pile can reap little treasures.


4 responses »

  1. MIchelle, love your blog, this zipper bags are perfect! very practical. What good books have you read lately? I’m always looking for good ones! let me know. Love liliana

  2. I found your blog when you were Freshly Pressed and I’ve been reading through it when I have time. I’ve enjoyed every story. I just had to tell you these little purses are adorable… you should think about selling them on here. I would buy one!

  3. Pingback: I’m off! « Loonyville

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